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Kicking Off Another Summer of Wellness

By Hallmark Business Connections | March 23, 2012 | Blog Posts | Engage Employees

RunWalkPedal: Kicking Off Another Summer of Wellness

 Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the “summer activity” season with picnics, camping, boating and numerous other outdoor events commanding our social calendars. Summer is the perfect time to try wellness initiatives in the workplace. For the employees of Hallmark Business Connections, the last weekend in May marks the start of our annual RunWalkPedal summer wellness initiative.

It’s no secret that a healthy, engaged workforce plays an important role in the success of a company. Increased attendance, reduced health claims and boosted productivity are all proven outcomes from having healthy employees. For the past six years, Hallmark Business Connections has conducted RunWalkPedal – a voluntary, fun program that tracks employees weekly activity levels from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Throughout the summer, employees track any and all of the things they do to stay active – anything from gardening to swimming to yard work, yoga, weight lifting and more. Oh, and of course, running, walking and pedaling. Every 15 minutes spent doing an activity equals 1 point. Then every Monday when the staff returns to work, they record their weekly totals on large tracking boards posted in the office.

Naturally, there are those that need a little encouragement to get active. That’s where incentives come into place. Each week those who post activity points are entered into a drawing for a Valued Expressions Card, a monetary award that can be redeemed for gift cards from hundreds of merchants. Weekly awards range from $25 to $60. If your company doesn’t have the budget for weekly awards, there are a variety of other ways to encourage your staff to participate each week. You can conduct monthly drawings instead of weekly, offer half-day or full-day time-off coupons, create certificates for healthy snacks, or use other prizes that would be meaningful to your staff.

Incentives work wonders on driving participation. For the first week of our 2012 initiative, 70 percent of Hallmark Business Connections employees recorded activity. With ongoing communications and cross-site challenges, the goal is to have an 80 percent participation rate by the end of summer.

If you have not tried a summer wellness program in your company before, it is not too late to start. You can try a quick 4-week program to gauge interest, perhaps beginning on the official start of summer – June 20.

Whatever you do to promote wellness in the workplace, having healthier, happier employees not only benefits them, it benefits the company.

What does your company do to encourage healthy activities for employees? Share them and let’s discuss in our Comments section.

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